File No. 2447/14.
The Secretary of State to Minister Furniss.
Washington, February 1, 1907.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 132, of the 15th ultimo, transmitting copies of your correspondence with the Haitian foreign office in regard to the case of David A. Backer, who claims to have been beaten by Haitian soldiers under the orders of their commanding officer for a refusal to perform some work on the roads. Your course is approved.
While the department does not call in question the duty of persons residing in Haiti to comply with provisions of the Haitian law concerning the corvée, it must insist that American citizens residing in Haiti shall be subjected to the legal punishment for violation of a provision of law and that the violation of such law shall be established in an appropriate proceeding.
Flogging an American citizen by Haitian soldiers under the command of a Haitian officer can not be considered due process of law or due punishment for violation of law, and you are directed to inform the minister for foreign affairs that such conduct on the part of Haitian officials will not be tolerated.
I am, etc.,